Biography of Arthur L. Perry

Having become connected with the Westerly Savings Bank almost three decades ago, immediately following his college days, Mr. Perry has continued to be identified with this bank and its successor, the Washington Trust Company of Westerly. After having served for twenty-five years as treasurer, he succeeded his father in the presidency of the Washington Trust Company in 1929. He is one of the prominent bankers of Rhode Island and a leading figure in financial and business circles of the State. He is also a director of several other corporations, takes an active part in civic, fraternal and religious affairs, and ranks as a representative and substantial citizen of his native town, Westerly.

Charles Perry, the father of the subject of this biography, was born in Westerly, March 3, 1851, a son of Charles and Temperance (Foster) Perry. He received his early education in the public grammar and high schools of his native town and then attended Friends School, Providence. Having completed his education, he became connected with the Washington National Bank of Westerly, of which he was assistant cashier during 1872-81, and cashier during 1881-1904. In the latter year he was elected vice-president of the Washington Trust Company of Westerly, in which capacity he served until 1906, when he was elected president. He continued at the head of this well known and successful financial institution until his death in August, 1929, when he was succeeded by his son. For many years he served as a director of the Puritan Life Insurance Company and of the Westerly Textile Company. In 1893 he became president of the Memorial Library Association of Westerly and in 1921 of the Westerly Hospital. He was a former trustee of the Northfield, Massachusetts, School and also served as president of the Wheeler School and Library, North Stonington, Connecticut. He was a member of the Colonial Club. In politics he was a supporter of the Republican party, while his religious affiliation was with the Society of Friends. Mr. Perry married, January 19, 1875, Clara V. Foster, of Westerly.

Arthur L. Perry was born at Westerly, February 10, 1877, a son of Charles and Clara V. (Foster) Perry. He prepared for college in the public grammar and high schools of his native town and then entered Brown University, Providence, with the class of 1900. Immediately following his graduation he entered the employ of the Westerly Savings Bank as a clerk, and was made treasurer of this bank in 1901. When the Westerly Savings Bank was taken over by the Washington Trust Company of Westerly, in 1904, Mr. Perry became connected with the latter and was made its treasurer, serving in that capacity, until September, 1929, when he was elected president as the successor of his father. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Ashaway Line & Twine Company and of the Colonial Finance Corporation of Providence. His prominence in the banking world is indicated by the fact that he is a past president of the Rhode Island Bankers’ Association. For many years Mr. Perry has taken an active and helpful part in civic affairs. He is a trustee and the treasurer of the Memorial Library Association of Westerly, a past president of the Westerly Chamber of Commerce, treasurer of the Misquamicut Fire District, and chairman of the Westerly Zoning Commission since its organization. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party and he served for many years as treasurer of the Republican Town Committee. During the World War he served efficiently as treasurer of various local drives and campaigns in support of the war and war work. His chibs include the Misquamicut Golf Club, the Lions Club, Watch Hill Yacht Club and the Colonial Club of which latter he was the first president. He is also a member of Franklin Lodge, No. 20, Free and Accepted Masons; Palmer Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; and Narragansett Commandery, No. 27, Knights Templar. His religious affiliations are with the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which he is a vestryman. He is fond of outdoor life and finds his recreation chiefly in golf and fishing.

Mr. Perry married (first), in 1900, Kate S. Nichols, a native of Brooklyn, New York, who died in 1909. He married (second), in 1912, Alice Edge, a native of Downingtown, Pennsylvania. He is the father of eight children, three by his first and five by his second marriage: Dorothy N., Foster N., Katherine, Claire M., Robert B., Helen W., Alice, and Patricia. The family home is located in Westerly.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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